Programming Ease with Cincom Smalltalk Boosts Small Company in CAD Customization
P R O F I L E I N S U C C E S S
AR-CAD LLC provides motion simulation, engineering and graphics
software for companies using CAD (computer-aided design) systems in
their operations. Their software products can be stand-alone or work as
add-ins or customizations in programs like AutoCAD, Inventor,
Solidworks, Alibre or SpaceClaim. The company specializes in
developing motion add-ins, which allow customers to create machines or
mechanical processes within their CAD systems and see visualizations of
forces and motions in play based on physics. Users can then experiment
with many configurations and spot problems before actual fabrication.
A 20-Year Difference-Maker
AR-CAD has relied on the combined power and simplicity of VisualWorks
Smalltalk as its technical advantage since 1991. Company co-founder,
Aik-Siong Koh, began using VisualWorks that year as the basis for
creating an object oriented dynamics simulator. The advantage was
immediately obvious to Koh.
“3D Multibody Dynamics is a complicated field,” Koh says.“There are
only about five software options available, and they were developed by
large teams of programmers using Fortran or C++. I was able to develop
one by myself using VisualWorks entirely.”
AR-CAD developed its own CAD offering,“freeCAD: 3D CAD with
Motion Simulation,” which had its own graphical user interface.
In 2005, that product would be adapted as a motion add-in for Alibre
CAD. In 2010, a motion add-in was crafted for Inventor CAD, and one
was also completed for Solidworks CAD. Additional advances were
made in creating a motion add-in for SpaceClaim CAD, which also
included other customized add-ins developed by AR-CAD.
A die automation CAD was also created with VisualWorks.
Find a solution that allows small teams to
compete with larger players in creating
engineering add-ins for high-tech CAD
environments. This solution must be physics
based and allow users to visualize tolerances and
the impact of physical forces.
The technology must:
• Maximize the abilities of a small team through
increased programming productivity.
• Integrate well within popular CAD programs
such as AutoCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, Alibre
• Be easy to understand.
• Facilitate software debugging.
Results (With Cincom®
• Cincom VisualWorks allows companies to stay
on equal footing with competitors that rely
on more complex programming languages as
the foundation for their CAD motion
• Its clean syntax and pure object oriented
paradigm allows programmers to convert the
problem domain into working code more
easily and faithfully.
• The debugger and inspectors encourage
fearless exploration of the code to fix
Programming Ease Boosts Small
Company in CAD Customization